Edited by Yoon
Translated by Kim Yoo Hyang
The song certainly targeted the pop market and safely settled in it. Its entire lyrics are in English. And it was made by multiple foreign producers, including those who worked with Justin Bieber. Plus, Rosé’s has the best-suited voice for pop music. These three elements worked together to create a well-made pop song.
People expected a slow R&B or ballad from her because she is the main singer of the group. Hence, it was reasonable to anticipate a genre that focuses on her vocal skills. Despite these assumptions, she demonstrated excellent performance, much like her original group, BLACKPINK. Above all, the stage with numerous dancers is surprising as they prove the major agency’s financial capabilities.
In the beginning, the performance relies on the dancers as they lie on the floor and lift Rosé. Then, the artist uses her teamwork and challenging camerawork with dancers to emphasize the visual performance. Especially where Rosé mainly sings, the dancers stop and pin their eyes on her, maximizing the visual performance. It is Rosé’s piece, but a lot of work also went into the dancers’ choreography and structures. Though Rosé does not have the main dancer’s role in the group, she lacks nothing in the BLACKPINK’s performance. It probably was possible because there was faith in her artistic capabilities; her facial expression, concentration, and energy were always great.
Rosé’s solo album is being well-received not only in Korea but also overseas. The people predicted a certain level of success as it was a solo debut of a member from the famous girl group, BLACKPINK. Even with that in mind, it is an outstanding album.
Rosé focused on how well she could convey a message, instead of how well she can sing as a main singer of the grand BLACKPINK. Looking back at the group’s recent activities, they were either taking a levelheaded insight of their past love (KILL THIS LOVE, How You Like That) or seriously contemplating what love is (Lovesick Girls). However, “On The Ground” solely focuses on the singer’s path rather than her relationships with others. She sings about how she’s been trying to reach the top of the industry by making remarkable achievements. However, she says that the most important values are “On The Ground.” The message becomes more meaningful as a K-Pop superstar sings it. It is also a hopeful message that will encourage those in need of comfort amid the times of COVID-19.
The sounds also follow the ‘heartening and motivational’ message of the song. The acoustic sound, in the beginning, portrays the warm yet lonely atmosphere while the chorus and the electronic drop show her ferocity. It’s great to have the message and the instrumental share an emotion. It also soothes the boredom by changing the hook ‘Everything Needed Is on the Ground’ to a high pitch melody in the second half. The layered electronic drops by the end of the song also make the piece more enjoyable as it provides somberness to what could have been a bit monotonous.
The biggest strength of “On The Ground” is that it focused on ‘Rosé’ instead of the producer or agency’s styles. The song’s range best suits Rosé and its melodies allow us to appreciate her vocal characteristics fully. The deep tone heavily grounded on a particular range is well demonstrated in the chorus’s “Everything I need is on the ground.” We can also feel the stable rhythm in the first and second verses. With an excellent ability to portray emotions throughout the song, she leads the entire song’s focus. Because the music was made better through the artist’s abilities, her identity as a future solo artist is also bright.
Rosé is the second to make her way as a solo artist, following Jennie’s “SOLO.” As much as “SOLO” succeeded as a hit song focusing on its catchiness and repeated verses, it felt like an extension from BLACKPINK’s musical style. In a way, it is a song that demonstrates the essential image and identity of BLACKPINK. As Rosé entered the pop market with a piece that fits her like a glove, she proved her style as a vocalist vital to BLACKPINK and opened up further possibilities. Despite there not being groundbreaking vocals nor ingenious concepts, Rosé’s expression of herself as who she is, is more valuable than anything in the big event of her solo debut.
Editor Yoon: I love music, especially K-POP, and I dream of becoming an A&R person, lyricist, artist, etc. I will cover various articles, including song reviews, artist reviews, and K-pop market analysis.